Josh Roberts is the La Plata Gauntlet’s February Athlete of the Month. He attends La Plata High School in the graduating class of 2018 and is a varsity wrestling team member for the third consecutive year, competing in the 113 pound weight class against other wrestlers in the county. He maintains an average GPA of 4.0, including his AP Language and Composition course, even during the busy wrestling season. Josh, hoping to continue wrestling at a collegiate level following his senior year, plans to work hard within the next year in order to progress to this level.
A normal day at wrestling practice includes some conditioning, conditioning, and some more conditioning as wrestlers are required to stay in shape for the demanding sport they play. In an attempt to not gain weight and move up a weight class, wrestlers are strict about what they put into their body and try to eat as healthy as possible. To begin practice, the team runs for 15 minutes around the commons, followed by running for 15 minutes on the stairs. After half an hour of running, they go into the wrestling room to do drills. Following drills, the coaches teach and review techniques that are quintessential to the improvement of the team. At the end of practice, they wrestle each other live using these skills and techniques in order to practice for upcoming matches. Practice is two and a half hours on school days, and three hours on Saturdays; wrestlers were also required to attend practice over the winter break.
The wrestling point system may be incredibly complex to someone who has never wrestled before, but here are just a few examples of how wrestlers can earn points. If a wrestlers escapes, meaning they get away from a position or go into a neutral position, they receive one point towards their individual score. Two points are rewarded to an individual score for a take-down, which includes throws and leg sweeps. In order to score two points for a reversal, a wrestler has to be down on the mat and come from underneath to gain control of their opponent. A pin is an automatic win, and six points are rewarded for the team score. If a wrestler beats his opponent by seven or less points, it is called a minor, and three points are given to the team score. A major is when an individual is ahead by eight to fourteen points, and that is worth four team points. A mercy rule exists that if someone is ahead by fifteen points, the match ends.
At a match against McDonough, La Plata wrestlers pinned everyone in the first two-minute period, making it a blow-out match. When asked about his favorite match, Josh replied that it was at “Oakland Mills at the beginning of the beginning of the season because they are a really good team, but we beat them by a match.” It was a close match, but they were victorious by four points. The wrestling team has done really well this season until the team season unfortunately came to an end after losing in the regional championship to Oakland Mills by only 9 points.
Individual regional and state competitions are coming up, so come out and support Josh Roberts and the rest of the LP wrestlers!